Carina Biotech closes financing to support CAR-T into clinic

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Carina Biotech has raised $5.4 million that it will use to take its LGR5-targeted CAR-T cell investigative cancer therapy into the clinic.

The company's LGR5-targeted CAR-T cell is directed at advanced colorectal cancer. This cancer currently has a poor prognosis and is the deadliest form of cancer for Australians aged 25 to 34 years old.

Carina said pre-clinical studies of the LGR5-targeted CAR-T cell have shown highly promising results with complete tumour regression and no tumour recurrence. They have also demonstrated impressive tumour access and prolonged CAR-T cell survival.

CEO Dr Deborah Rathjen said, “We warmly welcome our new investors and thank our existing investors who have also supported this financing.

“At Carina Biotech, we are focused on our goal of creating a future that defeats cancer. The LGR5 CAR-T cell for advanced colorectal cancer is a great place to start, given this cancer’s very poor prognosis and rising incidence, particularly in young people.

“We know that colorectal cancer is the deadliest cancer for young Australians. We also know that there has been a nearly 190% increase in colorectal cancer cases in adolescents and young people in Australia over the last 30 years. These trends are seen internationally as well.

“This is a lethal cancer for all Australians, young and old, that we want to be able to treat.”

Carina said the capital raise was supported by a cornerstone investment from the Minderoo Foundation, alongside investment from other institutions and Carina’s founding shareholders, board and management.

Dr Steve Burnell, CEO of Minderoo Foundation’s Collaborate Against Cancer Initiative, said, “We are pleased to accelerate the development of breakthrough therapies such as CAR-T against solid tumours. Carina’s program is closely aligned with our strategy that is driving more personalised care and our mission to make cancer a treatable, non-lethal disease.”